To hear a recorded announcement of upcoming events, call (617) 623-1806.
Print out the latest concert postcard, and please help us spread the word by passing them out to your friends!
Tickets for concerts in Watertown (not house concerts or other events) can be purchased online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Use the code season53 to get member and student prices.
A peek ahead to next season:
The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston will be doing two presentations of the Woody Guthrie tribute "Bound for Glory" to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Woody's birth.
Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Use the code season53 to get member prices. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
Cowboy singer/musician Skip Gorman and Celtic singer and poet Connie Dover bring together their down-deep, heartfelt interpretations of the traditional music of the American West, Ireland and Scotland. Dover, described by the Boston Globe as the "finest ballad singer America has produced since Joan Baez," and Gorman, who Bluegrass Unlimited magazine calls "a masterful interpreter of cowboy ballads" blend their music in a concert of the "sweet old songs" of the trail, the cow camp, and the Old-World ballads that were their predecessors.
Connie and Skip met in the Owl Creek Mountains of north central Wyoming, where Connie is a ranch cook, and Skip worked as an entertainer and wrangler during cattle drives and roundups. Their chance meeting on the trail led to impromptu duets around evening campfires, and blossomed into a musical friendship that led to concerts throughout the United States and embassy-hosted tours of South America with musical friend Tom Sauber, where they sang traditional North American songs at community concerts and school workshops throughout Chile, Argentina and Paraguay. Recent collaborations include a series of concerts to benefit Wrangler Ranch, Inc. (Thermopolis, Wyoming), whose mission is to offer children in crisis the healing benefits of horse-related activities in a working ranch environment.
Skip and Connie's performances are a rare treat: their music is drawn from the ballads and old-time dance tunes that brought them together on the Wyoming prairie.
We're so sorry to report that this show has been CANCELED due to sickness! We hope to reschedule for sometime in the future.
If you purchased tickets in advance, we will refund your money.
If you purchased tickets in advance, we will refund your money.
Newton Corner, MA
$15 at the door
$5 for students (only if reserved in advance)
Reservations required; email suzanne AT smrozak DOT com for
reservations and directions.
Margaret Bennett was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother's side (from Skye) and Lowland Scots on her father's. With a PhD in Folklore and Ethnology, the former Edinburgh University lecturer "wears her scholarship lightly". Singer, storyteller, part-time teacher at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, recipient of the Master Music Maker Award (USA) and Celtic Women International award (Canada) for "lifelong service to Scottish Culture", she is widely regarded as "Scotland's foremost folklorist".
"There can be few scholars on either side of the Atlantic who succeed in combining such a wide range of skills as Margaret Bennett. A folksinger of great sensitivity and versatility, she is undoubtedly one of the major figures of the modern Scottish Revival... Margaret embodies all that is best of the spirit of Scotland." - Hamish Henderson
Margaret will be joined by friends Skip Gorman and Lorraine and Bennett Hammond.
Eisteddfod-NY is proud to host traditional music and song from Brittany, England, Hawaii, Ireland, Macedonia, Scotland, Serbia, and of course America - Appalachia, New York State, and more - along with contemporary songs, sea shanties, Gospel and Sacred Harp, and blues. There will be a contra dance, and as always there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to play and/or sing in the participatory workshops and informal jams. Come listen, come play and sing, come learn.
FSSGB is a sponsoring organization so FSSGB members receive a discount on registration fees. Please see their website for details.
The Folk Song Society is very pleased to present Ed Trickett in a rare New England solo concert. Ed Trickett has been collecting and interpreting traditional and traditional-based folk songs for over 30 years, and has appeared on over 40 recordings and appeared on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" and other public radio broadcasts. Ed is known as a "song interpeter". By day he is a professor of psychology. He looks for the hidden truths in songs, and sings them to us in a manner that gives us a new meaning to old songs. Usually playing guitar, and singing in a very gentle manner, Ed is also an accomplished piano player. He doesn't consider himself as a "professional" musician, but he is indeed a professional in every sense of the word.
His repertoire includes a wide range of ballads, sea songs, songs of love and protest, and an occasional song of no consequence whatsoever. Ed has appeared on more Folk-Legacy recordings than any other individual artist, backing first one singer and then another with his excellent harmonies and his fine guitar.
Ed Trickett is well-known to New England audiences, primarily due to his singing with New Englander Gordon Bok and Ann Mayo Muir. He accompanies himself on 6- and 12-string guitar and hammered dulcimer, an instrument that he helped popularize. Ed has a beautiful unaffected tenor voice that lulls you into enjoying a marvelous evening of music, as if joining him in his living room.
Please join us for this wonderful concert!
Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Use the code season53 to get member prices. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
Lorraine and Bennett Hammond play and sing in perfect complement: blending their instruments with consummate skill, they create a new voice for music that ranges in style from classical through Celtic, blues and contemporary.
The joy they take in their music is contagious, and their flair for tailoring their selection of songs and tunes for individual audiences lends a lively freshness to each performance.
"The Hammonds are folk missionaries of the first order, devoted cultural activists, teachers, event organizers, and performers who love to introduce people to the joys of traditional music." - Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
FSSGB is participating in the annual "Share the Warmth" clothing drive, sponsored by the UMass Boston Golden Key Society. Please bring donations of warm winter clothing in good condition (no tears or stains) to contribute to people in need.
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012, 1-4 pm
in the back room at Doyle's Cafe
3484 Washington St.
Jamaica Plain, MA
Sponsored by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston
and The West Gallery Quire.
Come and sing Carols from the Sheffield, West Gallery, and Sacred Harp traditions (as well as some standard favorites), led by Bruce Randall of The West Gallery Quire.
With special guests, The Paper Bag Mummers, providing merriment and mayhem!
Suitable for all voices and melodic instruments. Music will be available.
Free! (but we will pass the hat for the waitress)
Contact Bruce Randall (email@example.com) for more information.
The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston is announcing an open audition for our first annual Youth Traditional Song and Tune Showcase concert on April 6, 2013, in Watertown. Auditions will be held on Thursday, December 6th, from 5 to 7 pm at MIT, easily accessible on the Red line.
We are planning to have a number of young performers singing traditional songs or those written "in the tradition" of all regions of the USA, and of the British Isles, Canada and Australia. Instrumentalists playing traditional tunes in traditional styles are also welcome.
The singers and players can be solo or groups singing a capella or accompanying themselves with instruments. The concert proceeds will be divided among the participants with a minimum of $100 increasing according to the amount of time allotted during the concert to each performer or group. More than that, this is a great opportunity to meet and to hear other young people who share your same interest in traditional singing and tunes. We are very excited to be hosting this first of its kind event in the Boston area, and we hope that you will plan to attend the audition and/or the concert itself.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to sign up for the audition and to receive directions to the location at MIT.
Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexto - a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass - creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound that ranges from the bare bones of solo unaccompanied singing on his album Soul of the January Hills (Appleseed 2010) through the stripped-down voice and bajo sexto Christmas album Star in the East (timeriksenmusic 2012) to the lush, multi-layered arrangements on Josh Billings Voyage, an upcoming album of northern roots American music.
Eriksen's own compositions, which NetRhythms UK described as "strange and original works," have been featured in films like the Billy Bob Thornton vehicle Chrystal and the upcoming documentary Behold the Earth. Eriksen's other notable work has included extensive contributions to Anthony Minghella's 2004 Oscar-winning film Cold Mountain as well as collaborations ranging from hardcore punk and Bosnian pop to symphony orchestra and the 2010 Grammy-nominated album Across the Divide with Afro-Cuban world-jazz pianist Omar Sosa.
The former frontman of the prophetic groups Cordelia's Dad (folk-noise), Northampton Harmony (shape-note quartet) and Zabe i Babe (Bosnian folk and pop), Tim Eriksen is the only musician to have shared the stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson, and his media appearances have ranged from Prairie Home Companion to the Academy Awards. Having graduated from early shows at punk mecca CBGB, Tim's more recent performances have included his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Even Chambers' symphonic work "The Old Burying Ground" and two week-long stints at the Blue Note Jazz Club with Omar Sosa. In the studio, he has worked with producers including Joe Boyd, T-Bone Burnett and Steve Albini.
While Eriksen's curiosity and passion have led him on many musical journeys besides American roots - from punk rock and shape-note gospel through South Indian classical music and Bosnian pop to world jazz and contemporary symphonic music - all his explorations are linked by the qualities of intensity, directness, and authority which combine in a music that captures a truth about human experience and expresses it without apology.
Please join us for this special holiday presentation from a wonderful, exciting performer!
Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Use the code season53 to get member prices. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
The annual FSSGB members' concert is always a popular event. Our members perform songs which range from traditional ballads to original compositions, and from instrumental to a cappella pieces. Some of the instruments that have been played at this concert in the past include violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keyboard and concertina. Some FSSGB members who have performed at this event have gone on to have successful performing careers, such as Elijah Wald, Mark Ryer, Fool's Errand and Merle Roesler.
Our hosts this year will be Ellen Schmidt and Jake Kensinger, otherwise known as Two for the Show. Ellen and Jake are talented performers who play out regularly, often accompanied by fellow FSSGB members.
Members are invited to sign up to perform - one song or a spoken word piece. You may perform alone or with others. Some performers have been participating for years; others will do so for the first time. Children are most welcome. The program will feature professional musicians as well as living room folk enthusiasts. All are welcome. The Midweek Singers are an important part of the program as are the many members who show up especially for this event. The audience is always supportive and lively.
FSSGB members (including new members!) are welcome to sign up to perform one song or spoken word piece. Contact Ellen Schmidt at eschmidt01742 AT gmail DOT com to sign up by January 16th.
Proceeds from this show help keep the Society strong - we thank the performers and the audience for making this event possible.
Click here to hear some recordings done by our talented members!
David Jones, originally from England and now living in Leonia, New Jersey, gateway to the golden west, has a large repertoire of folksong from both sides of the Atlantic. He has performed in North America, Britain, Australia and Europe, singing at festivals, concert halls, clubs, maritime museums and colleges, presenting songs from the great days of sail, Music Hall favorites, traditional ballads, and the works of contemporary writers. He sings both a capella and with guitar accompaniment and involves his audience in refrains and choruses ranging from boisterous to sentimental.
As well as performing solo, David has sung with Heather Wood and the late Tom Gibney as Poor Old Horse, with Jeff Warner, Jeff Davis and Jerry Epstein as The Bermuda Quadrangle, with Peter Marston and Charles O'Hegarty as The Starboard List, and was a member of the Clearwater singing crew. He has also sung and recorded with Dan Zanes and Friends and his work with the guitarist Bill Shute led to the award winning Widdecombe Fair now available on the Dan Zanes label, Festivalfive Records. He now sings songs of the sea with The New York Packet at South Street Seaport in New York City, still performs with Heather Wood as a duo, and with Jerry Epstein, who adds wonderful piano and concertina accompaniments to the songs.
David has played feature roles in many theatrical productions to favorable critical reviews, and has performed across the USA as the featured artist in The Victorian Revels, a production based on traditions of the Winter Solstice conceived and produced by Revels Inc. He has played the part of the great sailor Joshua Slocum in Sailing Alone, with words and music by Dillon Bustin, and has sung and provided narration for a number of Public Broadcasting productions, including A Prairie Home Companion, Africans in America and Simple Gifts.
Andy Cohen is a virtuoso fingerstyle guitarist who has been described as "a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia." He grew up in a home with a piano and lots of Dixieland Jazz records. During the Sixties Folk Revival, he got hooked on the music of Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. When Andy was 16, he heard South Carolina's Rev. Gary Davis perform and the effect on him was profound. He has devoted his life to studying, performing, and promoting the blues of the southeastern states.
Andy has played with many of the major blues players of the 20th century, including Rev. Gary Davis, "Blind" Lemon Jefferson, Big Bill Broonzy, Bukka White, Brownie McGhee, Lead Belly, Brownie McGhee, Willie Walker, Skip James, Jim Brewer, Rev. Dan Smith, and Brother Daniel Womack. He's hung out with even more. Andy has helped to support a number of his mentors -- organizing festivals and gigs for them, and writing about and paying homage to them. As well, he's taught the tradition to a couple of dozen players who are now professionals.
Andy has more than a dozen recordings to his credit, including Oh Glory, How Happy I Am: The Sacred Songs of Rev. Gary Davis and Andrew M. Cohen: Dolceola Favorites. An enthusiastic proponent of the dolceola, Andy says he "never leaves home without it." Described by some as a "miniature piano," the dolceola has a keyboard, but the strings are struck with wooden mallets.
Along the way, Andy earned a Master's Degree in anthropology. His passions come together in his essay on "The Hands of Blues Guitarists," published in Ramblin' On My Mind: New Perspectives On the Blues, edited by David Evans (2008).
Jeff Davis is one of America's most respected collectors and interpreters of traditional music. He has traveled far to visit "source singers"-- farmers and miners who remembered the old songs and tunes--and closer at hand to libraries and archives, always look for the best of the music that was once common in out towns and villages. An evening with Jeff might include New England ballads sea songs, African-American banjo tunes, cowboy ditties, rare Yankee fiddle tunes and more. You will "meet" singers and players from the North Carolina mountains and coast, Nova Scotia farmers, African-American sailors, New York loggers and many others. Jeff plays fiddle, banjo, mandocello, guitar, spoons, jaw's harps and a few instruments hand-made by folk craftsmen.
For many years Dave Ruch has been modestly ploughing his own folk furrow in New York State, actively investigating the rich body of traditional Anglo-American music - old songs and ballads, fiddle tunes, beer-tray playing etc. - that sustained the people who came before him in that area. Dave's approach to folk music could be likened to that of other favored revival performers who are similarly noted for their sheer dedication to the cause, their enthusiastic and exhaustive research and their proven ability to communicate their findings to the listener accessibly, with a ready smile and ever-reliable (often outstanding) musicianship. Dave's keen attention to detail is everywhere you look. Dave clearly much relishes the task he sets himself and he positively radiates genuine delight and enjoyment in sharing the music and songs to you). In addition to vocals, Dave plays guitar, mandolins, banjos, spoons and jew's harp, all with consummate skill.
Red-hot strings ignite an old Long Island fiddle tune; oversized mandolins weave together on a rare Irish song from the Adirondacks; spoons and hambone bring Western NY dance tunes leaping back to life; two lone voices belt out a Catskill lumbercamp song in haunting unison. Together, "The New Boys" delight in exploring the unusual and underappreciated. With a pile of fascinating stories and two carriage-loads of instruments, the music of New York's canallers, Great Lakes sailors, African-American fiddlers, Irish lumberjacks and hill-country homemakers is in great new hands.
For many years Priscilla Herdman has been delighting Folk Song Society members with her rich voice and unerring choice of material. She is an extraordinary finder of powerful songs, as well as an eloquent performer who pulls her audience members in and encourages them to sing with her. She has an absolutely gorgeous voice with a three-octave range, fantastic clarity, and a silky smoothness. She is a singer's singer and one of the most admired interpreters of contemporary folk music. Audiences know her as an extraordinary song finder and an eloquent performer. They come to hear her sing and to sing with her. They are embraced by her warm and powerful performance. In 30 years of performing and recording, Priscilla has won a devoted audience both nationally and abroad. She has a gift for choosing timeless material that touches the heart of both the personal and the political. Her insightful interpretations and compelling stage presence continue to bring rave reviews from audiences and critics alike.
Priscilla has recently joined forces with Massachusetts guitarist Max Cohen, whose exquisite finger-style playing is a perfect compliment to Priscilla's elegant and powerful vocals.
"Priscilla Herdman (is) one of the clearest and most compelling voices of contemporary folk music." Stephen Holden, The New York Times "Excellent taste in material and an elegant, pitch-perfect voice." Rolling Stone
"At the center of her charms is that voice....her voice is miraculously pure and effortlessly beautiful, a voice that immediately draws people in and wins them over." Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe "Priscilla Herdman's exquisite voice and intelligent approach to her material have made her one of the most respected performers in contemporary folk music." The Great Hudson River Revival For more information about Priscilla, see her websites: http://www.priscillaherdman.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/priscillaherdman.
Also find out more about Max Cohen at his website: http://www.myspace.com/guitaristmaxcohen.
At the March concert we will have the chance to share in her new discoveries, as well as rediscover old favorites. Come join us there!
Proceeds from this concert will benefit the First Parish's Helen Robinson Wright Fund, which provides assistance for people in need in Watertown, MA.
FSSGB is pleased to present the first Youth Traditional Song and Tune Showcase. The following performers will be featured:
At approximately 6:32pm on September 4th, 1993, standing on the banks of the Ottawa River, Adrianna Ciccone fell in love with fiddle music. Dozens of fiddle players converged around a rickety upright piano, laughing and playing tune after tune, after tune, after tune. A group of friends hopped up onto a raised wooden platform, and started to step dance. Legs were flying & bows were flying as she stood in rapture. This was Adrianna's first Pembroke Fiddle Park experience - she was three years old. Since then, nearly two decades have passed, and Adrianna's charismatic fiddle playing and graceful step dancing have been charming audiences young and old. Her style, while rooted in the Ottawa Valley fiddle tradition, continues to be inspired by the many different regional fiddles styles of Canada and the world, including French Canadian, Cape Breton, Appalachian, Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian and Italian.
Far Distant Shore performs traditional English and American music ranging from sea shanties to pub songs, bawdy ballads to heavenly hymns, frailing banjo and old time fiddling. Ben Bath and Jeremy Carter-Gordon have been singing together since high school and are known for their energetic singing style and wide-ranging vocal talent. Ben Bath has toured with Northern Harmony and teaches singing school at Bard and Bennington College. He has a degree in music from Bard college, plays classical cello, and teaches piano. When not performing with Far Distant Shore, Jeremy Carter-Gordon tours with the Windborne Quartet and Renewal Chorus. He teaches traditional dance and harmony singing at folk camps around New England. He has a degree in Ethnochoreology from Bard and spent 2011-2012 studying sword dancing in Europe on a Watson Fellowship.
Kathleen Fownes is a contra dancer and musician born and raised. She spent her toddler years falling asleep on stages and at jam sessions. She studied classical with Van Kaynor and Phillip Naegele in middle and high school, played in a school jazz ensemble for two years, and studied French Canadian and Irish fiddle with Becky Tracy. Her real passion, however, is dance music, and she loves taking all she learns in any genre and applying it to the contra dance tradition. She is a freshman at Northeastern University in Boston, taking advantage of all the musical opportunities in the city, including lessons with Eden Macadam-Somer at New England Conservatory. Her main partners in music have always been her parents, and the family recently came out with their first CD.
Colin de la Barre and Olivia Gale are Meridian, a folk duo from Gloucester, Massachusetts brought together by their mutual love of folk music. They specialize in singing mostly traditional folk songs, as well as some more contemporary music, sung in distinctive close harmonies, either a capella or accompanied by Olivia on the guitar. Colin has been steeped in folk songs and dance since before he was born (although he didn't involve himself much until after the fact) and grew up surrounded by a fascination and love of traditional music. Over the years he developed a great reverence for harmony and has put that skill to use performing with groups such as Three Sheets to the Wind and Knockabout. Olivia was, oddly enough, the only musical member of her family and showed a passion for singing from a very early age. She has sung in choir, musical theatre and has been trained in opera, but folk music remains her one true love. The pair are currently in the process of recording the first album: Out Along the Headlands.
Nicole Singer is a musician, teacher, artist, and sailor living in Northampton, Massachusetts. Nicole sings sea songs and chanteys, gospel, work songs, ballads, blues, and lots of other things. Nicole recently co-organized Youth Traditional Song Weekend, and co-authored the Folk Sing Starter Kit for the Country Dance and Song Society. She has performed at the Bates College Folk Festival, Swarthmore College, NEFFA, Mystic Seaport's Sea Music Festival, and at local participatory sings from Baltimore to Boston and many places in between. She can sometimes be found singing aboard tall ships too. When she's not singing, Nicole is a middle school art teacher. "Singer" is her real last name.
Join us for a folk song swap; we'll go around the room and take turns requesting and leading songs, traditional and contemporary. Instruments are welcome.
For more info, check the NEFFA website.
This concert is presented in conjunction with the Muddy River Dulcimer Festival.
Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner began to play music together in Kent, Ohio in September of 1973. From the beginning Terry and Greg's interests in various musical styles have led them to be eclectic in their repertoire. Rather than confine themselves to a single style, Magpie has always embraced a musical rainbow, and with impressive proficiency in each different genre. From traditional, classic country, swing, and blues of the nineteen twenties and thirties, to contemporary songs written by themselves and others, Terry and Greg cover a lot of musical ground.
With the power of their delivery, Magpie is well known for their performances of hard-hitting topical songs. They are well-known as regular performers on Phil Ochs Song Nights, organized by Phil's sister, Sonny Ochs, since 1984. Politically, their viewpoint has been shaped by their life experiences. Greg began to play music in the early sixties as a direct result of the Civil Rights Movement. His father worked for the National Urban League, and members of the family became involved in local action in the Movement. Terry also began singing at that time, and spent many of her childhood summers with her mother's family in the deep south where she witnessed the cruelty of racism and the power of the Movement. She also was a witness to the shootings at Kent State on May 4th, 1970 when National Guard troops fired into a group of students protesting the war in Vietnam. Terry and Greg continue to reflect these experiences in their own work as they frequently raise their voices in support of the ongoing struggles for civil rights, freedom, justice, and peace.
Terry's voice is a truly impressive instrument, not only because of its natural power, but also because of her versatility. She is a gifted singer of jazz and blues in the tradition of Connie Boswell and Billie Holiday, but is equally comfortable with the subtle beauty of traditional folk and contemporary songs. Add to this her uncanny ability to find the perfect harmony line, and, in a powerful blend of their two voices, you have a real treat for the ear. As if this weren't enough, Terry is also an excellent player of the harmonica, mandolin, fretted dulcimer, and rhythm guitar.
Greg is an outstanding guitarist whose fingerstyle approach owes a lot to his heroes, guitar legends such as Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Nick Lucas, Phil Ochs, and Rolly Brown. His playing is the solid basis of Magpie's sound, providing whatever is called for, whether it be a hard-driving rhythm, or a ringing lyrical beauty. From a slow Scots air or a plaintive ballad to a rollicking ragtime blues or infectious swing, Greg covers it all. His high baritone voice has equal range and his captivating interpretation gives power and beauty to the full spectrum, from growling blues, to a Chilean lament, to a sweet croon.
Sold out - there's a waiting list!
Imagine our delight at finding out that Peggy will be in town and is willing to do a house concert for us!
Peggy is Pete Seeger's half-sister, Ruth Crawford Seeger's daughter; partner to Ewan MacColl, who wrote First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for her. They led the folk revival in England for 30 years and recorded many, many albums. Her best-known compositions are Gonna Be an Engineer and The Ballad of Springhill (the latter has come to be regarded as a traditional song).
Please join us for this rare opportunity to see Peggy in an intimate setting while she's back in the US!
Dick Holdstock and Ray Bierl will be performing in a few New England venues from May 17 through May 26 this year. Although they have played and sung together at many parties and folkie gatherings over the years, this tour will mark the first time Dick and Ray have performed together. They look forward to sharing a stage to merge their talents for different kinds of traditional folk music.
Ray Bierl draws upon a huge catalog of musical genres and styles, yet he delivers each song in a manner uniquely his own. Singing in a mellow baritone, his voice has the effect of being instantly familiar and engaging. His songs are chats between old friends, and you are admitted to the circle by virtue of your presence. His repertoire includes traditional American songs, cowboy ballads, Appalachian and Scottish fiddle tunes, Tin Pan Alley numbers, political songs, and country classics. Ray is also an accomplished and engaging fiddle and guitar player, drawing on traditions from throughout North America and the British Isles. As a square dance and contra dance musician, he is in demand for his inventive and playful approach to traditional and contemporary dance music. He has performed for 25 years with the well known, "Hillbillies from Mars", and more recently with the band, "Swing Farm", as well as in countless informal ensembles.
Dick Holdstock has performed songs from his English homeland through out North America for well over forty years. His repertoire includes traditional songs of social history, sea shanties, forebitters, drinking songs, and street songs. As part of the English/Scottish duo, "Holdstock and Macleod", Dick continues to perform coast to coast in folk clubs and sea festivals with Allan Macleod. In Germany, England, New Zealand, and Canada, Dick and his wife, Carol, perform as "The Holdstocks". Dick also plays octave mandolin in the English country dance band, "Quite Carried Away". An evening of music with Dick Holdstock is filled with the richness of the music of his English roots. The songs he sings tell more clearly than any history book what the people were thinking and feeling at the time. Whether he is singing of the beauty of the countryside or the horrors of war, he is able to totally involve his audience with the experience. He has perfected the knack of achieving audience participation, and manages to get the audience to sing along wherever he performs.
Performing together, Dick and Ray blend their strengths in a way that will make for an evening of traditional folk music from both sides of the pond "where the twain shall meet".
Norman Kennedy is one of Scotland's finest traditional singers with a unique repertoire of folk songs and ballads. Born and brought up in Aberdeen, he was a neighbor of the great ballad singer Jeanie Robertson and during the evolving folk scene of the 1960's he picked up many songs from her and from other singers such as the bothy ballad singer Jimmy McBeath and the traveller and street singer Davie Stewart.
Norman is a "keeper of the old ways", a master practitioner and teacher of textile arts as well as an unaccompanied singer of traditional Scottish Songs that he learned while growing up. In 1966 he moved to the USA after representing Scotland at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival where he was an immediate success with the "folkies" and the academic alike. The former loved his relaxed, easy style, while the latter recognized a deep knowledge and understanding of the songs, which went way beyond book learning. Here was a young man truly immersed in his tradition and culture. And all these years later he has lost none of that magnetism.
But there's more to Norman than just singing and storytelling. He is an accomplished weaver, who cards, spins, and dyes his own wool in the "old ways". It is a mark of his quest for perfection that he is as well-known in this field as for his singing. But he does not see them as separate entities - the songs help him to concentrate on his weaving and the weaving gives rhythm to his songs. When Norman sings as he weaves it seems the art and the craft were meant to be together.
In June 2003, Norman was awarded the highest honor in folk and traditional arts in the United States. This Master Artist was the recipient of one of eleven fellowships awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award was presented in The Library of Congress by United States President George W Bush.
There has always been an intimacy in Norman's performance, no matter how grand the setting or how large the audience. His songs and stories flow naturally as part of an extended conversation in which the attitudes of a contemporary creative artist are sublimated by a knowledge and continuing fascination with the lives and concerns of past generations.
Hearing Norman Kennedy sing today is unlike witnessing the performance of a singer who came to prominence as part of the Sixties folk revival. Unlike his contemporaries, he recast his whole lifestyle in a traditional mode around his work as a weaver, making the connection between life, work and song a seamless intermeshing where context is an established given. His way of life has brought him closer to the singers from which he learned as a young man and has helped form his understanding of them and the material they passed on. His own performance is thus enriched with strands of meaning that interpret the songs with verbal portraits of the old singers who sang them, giving them their due credit.
Michael and Carrie Kline have been studying and chronicling the history and culture of Appalachia for thirty years. They are themselves a musical duo, performing tight, high mountain harmonies of traditional Appalachian and contemporary songs on guitar and voice. They have released three recordings of their own music, "Eyes of a Painter," "Patchwork," and "Damp as the Dew: A Tribute to Appalachian Miners," as well as 15 other CDs mixing music and oral history from their folklife fieldwork. The Klines lead workshops and teach in college and community settings and have offered trainings in community listening projects. They possess a diverse array of academic and life experience.
The Klines operate Talking Across the Lines: Worldwide Conversations, LLC, a folklife documentary consulting and production firm. Together with students and community interns they seek to give voice to a wide range of views on historical and current events. Talking Across the Lines documents people of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds through broadcast quality audio recordings and still photography. The Klines record stirring oral testimonials with folk artists. Talking Across the Lines shares intimate stories and musical performances through engaging tapes, books and CDs which carry listeners into private and sacred spaces. Conducting broad-based community oral history and folklife projects, the Klines weave quilts of truths gathered from varied sources.
If possible, please bring something to share for the potluck dinner before the concert.
The Dutch / Frisian band Kapriol'! play lively music from the Dutch and Frisian tradition as well as their own tunes.
The musicians, all multi-instrumentalists, have performed individually in various other bands (Kat yn 't Seil, Liereliet, Kajto and Kalis) wich has given them a rich experience. Kapriol'! is a unique band that performs in The Netherlands and at international concerts and festivals throughout Europe: Spain/Barcelona, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Poland and France. Two tours took them further through Europe (Belgium, France and Germany) as well as to the United States in 2011 and again in 2013.
Kapriol'!'s repertoire comprises free interpretations of ancient Dutch and Frisian songs as well as dance tunes, combined with their own compositions. Their music showcases influences of several other styles, Renaissance, Scandinavian and Celtic music as well as world music. Multiple harmonies, unusual instruments and richly varied arrangements give their music a specific effect. In addition, Kapriol'! presents a maritime program with strong a-cappella singing, including traditional Dutch shanties, sea songs and instrumental tunes.
Danny Spooner's passion is the expression of British and Australian culture through folk music. Born into a working-class family in the East End of London prior to World War II, Danny grew up with the traditions, music and folklore of a typical Cockney family.
His passion is getting people singing, and he has inspired and encouraged many in developing their singing craft. Nothing gives him more pleasure at a festival than getting a good singing session going, "That's what folksong is about". Long described as "a living national treasure", Danny Spooner can make traditional music seem new and make new songs seem old.
In recent years Danny has sung at festivals, clubs and house concerts in Europe, England, Canada and the USA. But for 40 years in Australia audiences have enjoyed his concerts, workshops and one-man shows, his deep multi-disciplinary understanding of social history, his personal warmth, and his immense repertoire of songs covering the full range of human emotions, endeavours and experiences. He is a spellbinder.
Please join us for potluck dinner before the concert!
Check back later for details!
Dave and Anni joined forces in 1985, after spending many years around the folk club scene, in which time they featured on several albums made by other performers. Within a short time they teamed up with friends Charley Yarwood and his wife Cathy to form the acapella harmony group Beggars Velvet. The group were very soon in demand for clubs and festivals and recorded their only album, Lady of Autumn. They made two tours of the USA in 1990 and 1991 before they stopped performing together in 1993 after eight very successful and happy years.
Since then Dave and Anni have continued to work as a duo, making their duo debut on stage at the Eisteddfod Festival in Dartmouth Massachusetts in 1993 to begin a very successful career as a harmony duo, working largely acapella and featuring mainly traditional and traditional idiom material. They have worked extensively in the UK and the USA to much acclaim and now have five albums of their own to set alongside the Beggars Velvet recording, which is still in demand after many pressings.
Anni has developed a specialist repertoire of songs originating from her native North East, and Dave has been writing songs in traditional vein since 1982 many of these are widely sung and have become part of the general song repertoire of singers all over the world.